Tag Archives: discover

The Ultimate Guide to UPC Study Spots

By Jonah Vroegop

Edited by Natalie Grace Sipula

[3 minute read]

It’s that time of the semester again! We are approaching finals week, and everyone is beginning to scramble to find a place where they can study and concentrate amidst all of the end of year chaos. As my final semester at USC is coming to a close, it seems only right that I pass on my accumulated knowledge of the best places on the USC main campus to work and study.

Doheny Bookstacks

The “bookstacks”, as they’re rightfully called, are where most of the books are located within Doheny Library. There are 3-4 underground levels of books on shelves, row after row. The ceiling is low, the smell of old books hangs in the air, and the silence is dominant. Scattered within these rows of books are small cubicles with a single chair and electrical outlet, as well as some tables where 2-3 people can work together quietly. For anyone like me who has trouble focusing in a noisy or stimulating environment, the bookstacks offer a quiet, air conditioned place to really get work done. You can enter the bookstacks from the Doheny Library front desk, just up the stairs from the main entrance.

Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash

Asa V Call Law Library

The law library is another great place for people who have trouble focusing to catch up on work or who want to get ahead on upcoming assignments. It offers a mixture of seating – some squishy booths for larger groups of 4-6, some wooden tables for singles or groups, and even some standing workspaces with high tables. There are 3 floors of silent workspaces with outlets and overall, the law library is one of the most newly renovated study spaces on campus. There is even a cafe in the basement that sells food and drinks (boba!!). There are very few people in the law library and it is close to great food and coffee options on Figueroa/Exposition for your study fuel. Disclaimer: the law library is open to law students only for a few select weeks of the semester during law exams.

Watt and Harris Hall Courtyards

At the architecture school, there are two main buildings – Watt Hall and Harris Hall. Each of these buildings has a large outdoor courtyard where students can sit and work, have a meal, or just relax and enjoy the day. On sunny days when I don’t want to be cooped up in the library or if I bring food and drinks with me to study, these courtyard spaces are my preferred place to be. There are tables outdoors as well as lots of grass and landscaped spaces to work behind the school (toward Exposition). The architecture library is also a great place to study (Watt hall basement). It has a design-forward atmosphere that is pleasant to work in, but it is currently under renovation.

Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash

Old Annenberg

Around the outside of the older Annenberg building, there are lots of individual and group study spaces to enjoy. Their are tables situated on on balconies and lining the walkways, and many of these tables have umbrellas to block the sun on bright days as well. With close proximity to the center of campus, these are usually very convenient places to stop and take care of a quick email or get some work done between classes. These spots are also not very well known and oftentimes entirely empty. There is also a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in the cinema school nearby to this area for your snack and drink convenience.

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The Many variations of english

By Ning Hannah Teoh

Edited by Natalie Grace Sipula

[3.5 minute read]

Language is fascinating. Even within the English language, where all words are written using letters from the same alphabet, there are so many variations. Every region where English is spoken has its own accent, slang, and grammatical structure, formed through centuries of culture and history.

Growing up in Malaysia, I was familiar with a hybrid version of the English language— colloquially coined “Manglish”— which was a combination of English, Malay, and other miscellaneous languages. English sentences would end in Malay and Mandarin suffixes (-lah, -mah, etc.). You would often hear a Malaysian person go “Stop it lah” or “Got meh?” which respectively translates to “You should stop,” and “Do they really have it?” English in Malaysia reflects the multicultural and multiethnic diversity that exists within the country, and it is an excellent example of how varied English is not only across regions in the United States, but in different parts of the world as well.

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Ever since I came to the United States and eventually USC, I’ve been learning different variations of English and all of the regional words and phrases you encounter when you move around. When I was living in Boston, I learned that sprinkles (the ones you put as a topping on ice cream) were called “jimmies”. I also found out how much Bostonians were fond of their Dunkin Donuts, so much so that they refer to the coffee and donut franchise by the nickname “Dunkies”. Once, my boss who was based in Washington D.C. assigned me a task where I had to look for educational-support organizations within the DMV. At first, I was very confused because I thought the DMV was the Department of Motor Vehicles. It took me a while to realize that in this context, the DMV referred to the Washington metropolitan area, or D.C, Maryland, and Virginia.

I have to admit that when I first came to the U.S., I worked hard to get rid of my native accent. Even though English is my first language, I spoke in tones and inflections that were unfamiliar to the American ear. I pronounced “three” as “tree” and said “geo-GRA-phy” instead of “ge-O-graphy”. In the beginning, I would mimic how Americans discarded their t’s and took out the h in herbs. In some ways, I didn’t want to sound foreign. I didn’t want to be looked at as “other”— a sentiment I believe many international students share. Especially under the political climate of the previous government administration and with the recent rise of anti-Asian violence, international students are all the more aware of the hostility we might face simply by being international. Coming to a foreign country alone is already tough in and of itself, but knowing that you will potentially face outward discrimination from a vocal minority because of where you come from or how you are perceived is a different kind of fear. So, I worked hard to sound as American as possible so that fewer questions were asked of me.

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But the truth is, I am not American. I grew up calling an elevator a lift and I grew up drinking teh tarik (“pulled tea”) and not unsweetened iced tea. Coming to USC has made me prouder about my identity as an international student in this student community. I have so much cultural experience to share— language included— why would I ever hide it? Seeing the thriving and diverse international community here has made me realize that the international experience is unique and that I have been blessed with the opportunity to be part of the cultural exchange between international and domestic students. This includes the interaction between accents, slang, and everything in between.

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Myers-briggs vs. Astrology

By Josie Macdonald

Edited by Natalie Grace Sipula

[3.5 minute read]

I recently moved to California this past August, and one question I have been asked consistently since arriving here is “What is your zodiac sign?”. I had heard of astrology before, but I had never gotten much into it or discussed it with other people until moving here. Although many people believe in astrology, it is widely criticized as a pseudoscience as there is no scientific evidence suggesting there is a strong correlation between the day and time you were born and your overall personality. After all, what makes you unique if your personality is determined at birth? Does that mean that the baby who was born in the hospital room next to yours is just like you?

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While astrology is a very popular topic to discuss in one’s personal life, in the workplace, people sometimes use personality tests to discuss different personality types. One of the most common ones that you will probably take at some point, if not already, is called the Myers-Briggs type indicator (MBTI). It is a personality assessment that was developed in the 1940s by Isabel Briggs Myers and her mother Katherine Briggs. The test was based on the theories of psychoanalyst Carl Jung, who was a follower of a very famous psychoanalyst you’ve probably heard of named Sigmund Freud. The MBTI test published online is a list of about 90 questions, and once you are done answering them, you will be categorized into one of 16 different personality types. There are 4 main traits, and the different combinations of them are what make up your MBTI. Your answers to the questions determine whether you are an introvert (I) or an extrovert (E), intuitive (N) or sensing (S), feeling (F) or thinking (T), and judging (J) or perceiving (P). If you are an introvert, you are more likely to enjoy spending time alone than your extroverted counterparts. If you have the intuitive trait, you are said to rely on your instincts and ability to draw connections from seemingly unrelated topics, whereas people with the sensing trait are more practical and rely on the data in front of them. The third trait measured is based on how you make decisions- if you rely more on impersonal, logic-based criteria, you are thought to have the thinking trait, but if you tend to take into consideration how others will feel, you are thought to have the feeling trait. The last criteria measures whether you want a more neat and orderly life (judging), or whether you are more flexible and spontaneous, and don’t mind some disorder (perceiving).

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This test is used in a lot of professional settings because companies use this information to build better teams that communicate and work more effectively. But it is not a definitive science either—neither Isabel Briggs Myers nor her mother Katherine had formal training in psychology, and they based the test off of the research of Carl Jung. Psychoanalysis has been thoroughly disproven in recent years because there is no concrete evidence of its main theories, such as that your unconscious mind and things you experienced in early childhood create irrational fears you have today and determine the actions that you make.

Continue reading Myers-briggs vs. Astrology